Monday, March 31, 2014

An Almost Rant

Having left the Amish only a little over a month earlier a young wife and mother was happy when one Saturday her husband suggested they go shopping for some clothes. They opted to try several thrift stores. After purchases had been made they took everything home to wash and iron. It was going to be nice not having to wear Amish clothes to go to church the next day.

Sunday morning arrived, she dressed her children in their new clothes and then it was her turn. The new purple dress fit beautifully and she was feeling great, her husband's compliments added to her happiness as they headed out the door, dressed in their new Sunday best.

She sat through church services, joining in joyfully singing hymns, drinking in the sermon that was delivered in English, her heart was full as church was dismissed and everyone started visiting before heading home.

Her happy bubble burst, when a woman came up to her and said, "Did you get lost on your way to a wedding?" and then burst into gales of laughter. She felt a little bewildered as she answered, "No, we meant to come to church here."

The woman laughed some more and said, "Your dress looks like it should be in a wedding, not a church." Some other women smiled uncomfortably, but didn't say anything.

The next Sunday she wanted to go worship, but at the same time she didn't want to go to church in her Amish clothes or her now hated pretty purple dress.


I could go on a rant now, but it wouldn't do any good, and I don't like how I feel about that laughing woman. The hurt and harm she caused was senseless, and I can't help but feel upset for my friend. I wish I could have been there for her when it happened.

I don't know if anyone from the church we used to attend after we left the Amish reads this blog, but if so, I want to thank you for always being kind, friendly, and accepting no matter what clothes I was wearing. .

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Random Bits

Ever since my parents opened their store Christmas always meant a big box filled with goodies they randomly picked from the shelves to send to us.

Last Christmas I knew that usual box would not be coming, since they were still in the process of rebuilding their store after the fire.

Yesterday, much to my surprise we received a big box stuffed to the brim.

A big block of my favorite cheese, assorted yummy snacks, a stack of books, and some other fun things for the children.


Some Amish schools have a schedule where families in the community takes turns bringing a hot lunch to school once a week as a nice break from packed lunches.

Often the family bringing the lunch to school will stay for noon recess and help the children play.

Recently it was my uncle's, who also happens to be a bishop, turn to furnish lunch. After everyone was done eating they went outside to play softball with my uncle being pitcher for both teams. As he pitched for one of the upper grade girls, she swung the bat with grim determination, her efforts paid off as her bat met the ball with a satisfying "crack". Unfortunately the ball went flying straight into my uncles face, knocking him out.

He was taken to the hospital, where they took care of his cut cheek, broken nose, and gave him advice on taking it easy for a while.

I feel sorry for the girl though, she will always be known as the girl who knocked out the bishop.


Maple sugaring season is under way and our usual quiet little town is overflowing with thousands of tourists that descend every year to sample, watch, and buy.

I'm staying at home until the craziness is over.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Wednesday Hodgepodge

1. March is known as the windy month. Which of the following phrases best fits your March so far...'throw caution to the wind', 'three sheets to the wind', 'run like the wind', or 'see which way the wind blows'?

 I'm going with run like the wind. I'm in the process of potty training Buddy and have, more times than I can count, uttered the phrase "run like the wind, my boy, run like the wind" as we head to another session in hopes we get there in time.

2. Your favorite green food? Your favorite dish made with your favorite green food?

Broccoli. I love it steamed or roasted and as a special treat a broccoli grape salad is always a hit.

3. Ever been locked out of your home-car-office-anywhere? Do tell!

I was locked out of our house several years ago and ended up removing the screen from a window and climbing inside to unlock the door.

4. Yoda, Kermit, Shrek, The Wicked Witch of the West, Oscar the Grouch, The Grinch, or Mike Wasowski (Monsters Inc.)...of the green characters listed, which one's your favorite and why?

The Grinch, not a fan of him, but he's the only one I know anything about.

5. "The first task of a leader is to keep hope alive."~Joe Batten Do you agree? Why or why not?

I agree. Much can be accomplished when a spirit of hope is present.

6. Share a favorite song with an emotion in it's title.

The first song that comes to mind used to be one of my favorites as a child. If You're Happy and You Know It

7. What's a road trip you'd like to take?

A road trip we are planning to take someday is driving up along the east coast stopping at various points of interest along the way with our goal of visiting Acadia.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

Sailor can get quite creative in the kitchen. He prepares lunch several times a week. This was his latest offering.
I'm so happy he has an interest in food other than just eating.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Leaving the Amish

I don't think anyone that left the Amish would say it was easy to do, but I do think the level of difficulty can be much more extreme for some.

When we left we had been married for a number of years already, had three children, owned a home, and had a business. All of that stayed the same, but we now had a new mode of transportation and attended a different church.

Emotionally it was very difficult knowing our decision to leave would sever family ties and friendships we had all our life. But trusting in Jesus, we forged ahead.

Recently I was reminded of how much harder leaving would have been had we left as a teen. On top of dealing with the emotional side of leaving we would have had to find a place to stay, a job, everything would have been new and different, almost overwhelmingly so.

I am thankful for places like MAP Ministry that offer help and guidance for those who are heading out alone and penniless.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Vernie Update

Many of you have already been introduced to my Aunt Vernie, on my blog.   I receive emails frequently wondering how she is doing.

Yesterday I received a phone call from one of my cousins to let me know that Vernie had a heart attack and isn't doing well at all.

She has always been scared of doctors and hospitals, so this is an especially difficult time for her.

We would appreciate prayer for her, and if you care to help I would love to fill her mailbox with cards letting her know we care.

If you send me a quick email, I'll get her new address back to you.

Friday, March 21, 2014

A-Z Reveal

The April  A-Z Challenge is just around the corner, and today is the theme reveal.

My theme will be revolving around all things Amish. Everything from memories to rules, food to fun. Things I used to love, to the things that used to annoy me. Basically if it is something I experienced while we were Amish and starts with a letter I need, it is open to be blogged about.

I think this will be a lot of fun!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Wednesday Hodgepodge

1.  Thursday marks the first day of celebrate would you rather plant a garden or go for a walk in the woods? Would either of those activities be possible on Thursday where you live?

I would rather plant a garden.

Neither of those activities will be done on Thursday. It wouldn't be impossible walking in the woods, but it would be an unpleasant experience wading through the snow that is still there.
2. When did someone last spring something on you? (or when did you last spring something on someone?)

Drawing a big blank on this one. I'm not a spring something on someone type of person. Since I heartily dislike being on the receiving end, I try not to spring something on others.

3.  We often think of spring as a time for new beginnings. What's something you'd like to start doing this spring?

As much as I like winter I always enjoy being able to start opening windows and letting fresh air into the house.

Daily walks will be starting once the snow has disappeared and the mud it left behind dries up a little.

4. Where do you like to sit in a movie theatre? When did you last sit there, and what were you watching?

I have never been to a movie theater.

5. When you meet someone for the very first time, what do you want them to think about you?

I hope they think I'm friendly. I'm somewhat shy around people I don't know very well and often am at a loss of what to say. Friends, on the other hand, might think of me as a chatterbox.

6. March is frozen food month (yes, really!). Besides ice cream (gotta make you think a little) what's your most often purchased frozen food item?

The frozen food section doesn't get a lot of attention from us at all. The latest thing we bought was tilapia.
7. What's something you avoid?

Topics of conversation .......... politics.
Living things ............ mice and snakes.
Odd things .......... loose pen caps.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

Hearing his Daddy come home from work is the favorite part of Buddy's day.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Amish Interaction

   There is an Amish farm right next to LV's workplace, and with the buildings situated almost on the road he often sees the children that live there.

   The oldest child is around seven years old and delights in making sure he waves to LV every time he passes. If LV is driving one of the big trucks the little boy will motion for him to honk his horn. Often stopping what ever chore he is doing in order to watch and wave until he has passed.

   Last evening LV was doing a favor for one of his friends and picked up a farm tractor and took it to the shop where someone was going to pick it up and deliver it to its home in a different state. As he approached the farm he noticed the little boy lugging a five gallon pail filled with ashes out to the pile where they dump them right beside the road. As usual he stopped and watched, smiling from ear to ear, as LV approached.

    LV drew near and the little boy quickly stepped out, dumped the entire pail, producing a huge cloud of ash dust that totally engulfed the tractor and LV. He was almost blinded from all the ashes blowing into his eyes, but managed to get safely back to the shop, where he saw the humor in it all.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Wednesday Hodgepodge

1. Do you have an interest in learning about your family's heritage? Why or why not? If you know a little bit about your roots, share an interesting piece of trivia or a fun fact about someone who goes way back on your family tree.

I am interested in my family's heritage, it's something that I have heard about ever since I was a little girl. The stories of persecution, martyrs, and faith of my Anabaptist heritage have always intrigued me. In addition I have often wondered how Jacob Ammon was able to get such loyal followers, that to this day revere what he started, even though he wished he could take it all back before he died. Strangely enough that is one part the Amish don't speak of when the talk about the most important man in Amish history.

2. Branch Rickey, the baseball exec credited with signing Jackie Robinson, is quoted as saying-

"Luck is the residue of design."
Agree or disagree? Why?

I agree somewhat. I don't believe in luck. I believe in God's blessings, and hard work.

3. In the town where you currently reside, what's your favorite green space?

Everything is dull brown right now, but since I love being at home more than anything, I'm going to say my favorite green space is our yard.

4. Who is your favorite comedian?

Jeanne Robertson. She never fails to make me laugh.

5. March is National Nutrition Month, and almost everyone needs to improve their diet in some way.  What about you? How can you improve your nutrition on a daily basis? Will you try?

We are trying to eat healthier. More salads, less breads. And though I do not consider us to be a health nut family at all, there is something we started recently that definitely qualifies us to be added to that category. Depending on the results, I may have to share it at some later date.

6. Which of these green expressions have you 'experienced' in recent weeks -green with envy, green thumb, green around the gills, or give the green light? Explain.

Does poring over seed catalogs qualify as having a green thumb?

7. Where is one place you don't mind waiting?

At the dentists office, the longer I can put off sitting in that dreaded chair, the happier I am.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

As a mother my ears have been tuned to pick up the distress signals from my children. Last evening I heard the heart stopping shrieks of a terrified little girl.

I immediately had all sorts of crazy scenarios flashing through my mind as I ran to see what was the matter.

I opened the door to find Sunbeam traumatized, tears streaming down her face, because there was a lady bug between two of her toes.

Relief and laughter followed.

Monday, March 10, 2014


Since the release of my books I have enjoyed seeing pictures of happy readers, enjoying what I wrote.

I just received another picture, this time it is my youngest cousin.

What a nice distraction from the Monday laundry dance!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Wednesday Hodgepodge

1. The expression 'mad as a March hare' originated with a fictional character who is distracted and frantic. When were you last 'mad as a March hare' and what was it that made you that way?

Distracted and frantic? Drawing a blank on that combination. However I have plenty of scatter brained moments that have me questioning if my brain is turning to mush. Like last week the girls caught me just before I did a load of laundry using mouthwash instead of laundry detergent. They thought it was totally hilarious, and I was left wondering how I ever got to a point like that.

2. Mardi Gras this year falls on Tuesday, March 4th. Have you ever been to Mardi Gras, and if so what did you think? If not, do you have any interest in going?  Purple, green, and gold are the colors of Mardi Gras. Which one is most prevalent in your wardrobe? How about in your home?

I have never been to Mardi Gras, and so far have never been struck with the desire to go.

Of the three color choices, purple is most prevalent in my wardrobe, and since there are several rooms with marbled green walls I'll say green is the most prevalent in our home.

3. Are you old fashioned?

Yes and no. I love technology, enjoy trying new things that aren't old fashioned at all, but I still value the simple things in life, so maybe that makes me old fashioned.

4. Do you carefully plan your vacations, or do you prefer the days to be more spontaneous?

For true vacations we have a general idea of where we want to go or what we want to do, but we're totally open to stop and explore anything that catches our fancy along the way.

Our last "real" vacation was eight years ago. Our getaways the last several years have been enjoyable, but all involved visiting friends.

5.  March is National Sauce Month...what's your favorite sauce, and what do you most often top with this sauce?

A cheese sauce that is great spooned over eggs, meat, and potatoes. Preferably for breakfast.

6.  What's something that easily brings a tear to your eye?

I get tears way, way, way too easily. When something moves me such as when we sing "How Deep the Father's Love for Us" at church.   Anytime something is sweet or touching. For example: Several weeks ago LV and I were doing our weekly grocery run, which just happened to be the evening before a big snowstorm was predicted. Checkout lines were backed up ridiculously far. As we made our way slowly toward the front of the line we were talking and LV started telling me about an interview he had heard on the radio at work. Someone had interviewed an elderly widow about her secrets to a long happy marriage. She shared a story about how her husband had this one same joke he liked to tell all the years of their marriage, the first time she heard it she had to laugh, because it was funny.

I was expecting to hear how she got sick and tired of this joke, but instead LV shared how she said that every time her husband told this joke he always looked at her to see if she laughed, and she always laughed, and she could see it always pleased him that she still thought he was funny.

As LV shared that I had to blink back the tears. I didn't want to be standing in a grocery checkout lane with tears streaming down my face, just because I thought this lady had been so sweet to her husband.

7. If you could own any sports team, which one would it be and why?

If I could own any sports team I would want to own the Pittsburgh Steelers ....... need I say more?

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

Buddy discovered he has pockets. On a scale of one to ten on my favorite discoveries he has made, this has got to be a ten. No mess, and delightfully quiet!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Puzzling Puzzle

The first puzzle I ever had was a wooden jigsaw with a cute scene of two children feeding animals. I have no idea how many hundreds of times I put it together and loved it every time.

I would love to have it for my own children to enjoy, and have searched high and low for one to no avail.

Yesterday I stumbled across the cover of the box it had come in and noticed it was signed Michaelis and made in Holland. I hoped with this added information I might be able to finally locate one, but apparently my internet searching skills are still quite lacking because I didn't come anywhere close to finding it.

Do you have any suggestions?

Monday, March 3, 2014

Black Forest Brownies

This weekend we tried a new recipe Rosebud chose for her weekly cooking/baking challenge.

It was a big hit, and will definitely be tucked into our favorite recipe file.

Black Forest Brownies

1 cup unsalted butter (melted)
1 cup cocoa powder
1¾ cup sugar
½ tsp salt
2 eggs
1¾ cup flour
1½ cup chocolate chips
2 cups mini marshmallows
1 jar marachino cherries (drained and chopped)
1-14 oz sweetened condensed milk

In large mixing bowl combine melted butter, cocoa, sugar, and salt. Add eggs and beat well. Measure in flour and mix. Spread in a greased 9x13 pan. Sprinkle chocolate chips, marshmallows, and cherries over your brownie batter. Pour condensed milk evenly over everything in your pan and bake in a preheated 350ยบ oven for 22 minutes.

Allow to cool completely before attempting to cut.